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Meet the team: Solent QI, Side by Side


  • Side by Side group (Patient leadership group) and the Youth Forum

Hi Everyone – we are really excited and proud to have been shortlisted, and are working away in the background on developing this project further. I know there are lots of people who do peer training and development of patient training packages, so any ideas about what to do (and what not to do) would be very gratefully received. We’d like to share as many ideas and will be happy to share any training resources and stories as they evolve. Thanks for your support and help..

We’ve amended this submission following many conversations with colleagues and patient QI leaders, and further exploration of peer support/ co-production literature – In essence, we have:

1.     Extended this to include other partners in Wessex, including Kate Pryde on behalf of Southampton Children’s Hospital and Prof Catherine Pope of the University of Southampton (both founding Qs). We have been working in partnership with Kate and Catherine for a couple of years on the involvement of patients and families in improvement, with specific reference to ensuring diversity in involvement. We will combine these projects

2.     Catherine is a ‘researcher in residence’ and medical sociologist who has a long background in working in partnership to deliver improvement and evaluate change. She will be supporting us with the ‘live evaluation’ of this project.

3.     We have shortened the bid for clarity

4.     We have committed to extend this across Wessex and will be co-producing a ‘patients included’ in QI event in the Spring  within the AHSN to share experiences and tips from this project and explore ways of extending it beyond Southampton.


We have an established QI training programme which takes a team approach to delivering improvement projects whilst attending some classroom based training. This programme has the patient and community voice at its heart, with teams supported to involve those that use the service to be involved in change. Many of the teams who come on the training already include patients or colleagues from other sectors. Similarly, our foundation training, our workshops and our events are all open to patients/ service users.  Through an ongoing programme of evaluation, those participants have told us that this doesn’t always feel comfortable and that they’d like more support. They have made a number of suggestions around what would make them more confident and what would help them to feel fully involved.

Similarly, Southampton Children’s Hospital are forming a Youth forum to work with them on ongoing improvement.

The feedback from both of these programmes form the basis of this bid:

What we would like to do

1.     Co-design and deliver a patient/ community training programme to support involvement in QI

2.     Co-design different ways of delivering this so that involvement is accessible, inclusive and  diverse  (for example, can include those who don’t have English as a first language, who are homebound, who have cognitive or other disability.)

3.     Establish a peer support network for those involved in QI

What we’ve co-produced (so far)..


We’ve already worked with patients and families who are involved and begun to shape our thinking. To date, we anticipate this project will include:


a.    A bespoke programme of QI skills development for patients, families and colleagues from voluntary organisations.

b.    This will include an introduction to how the NHS works, and where the services that they use fit within this

c.     The development of a network for those involved in improvement, to allow for peer-support and buddying

d.    Leadership training on how to talk about, explain, promote, influence around QI

e.    Support for clinicians to engage with patients as equal partners in change

f.      A sharing event in the Spring to extend the programme beyond Southampton into Wessex

How will we know it’s working?

We will run a ‘live evaluation’ through the new initiatives – as these are co-designed and produced we can constantly consider what is and what isn’t working, and adjust accordingly (PDSA!). We will look at outcomes of projects, but also the experiences of patients and staff. We have a fully interactive website and are active on social media, so will enthusiastically share developments, challenges and successes throughout the roll out of the programme.

More formally, this will be shared with our Q community and any resources will be fully and freely available to those who may find them useful.

Who will this benefit?

Everyone, we hope. It will help those patients that want to be involved in improvement to work confidently with our clinicians; it will give those clinicians the tools and confidence to work in partnership with their patients etc; and it will benefit the organisation as a whole by role modelling a positive and productive way of working. It should benefit the wider Q community, with shared learning, ideas, tips, resources and networks (beyond the traditional professional boundaries).

A bit about us

This is collaboration between Solent NHS Trust, Southampton Children’s Hospital, the University of Southampton, and NHS Elect. It will aligned to the Wessex Q network, supported by the Wessex Patient Safety Collaborative within the AHSN.


How you can contribute

  • • Process and guidance on recruiting patients to be involved as equal partners in QI projects.
  • • Learning and ideas on peer working/ buddy schemes
  • • Access to network opportunities for our patient partners and other colleagues
  • • Support with involving those with additional needs or whose voices are seldom heard
  • • We’d be delighted to do this in partnership with anyone that may be interested?

Reviewer feedback

This is a great project because…

This project is a nice example of QI capability building and peer support that involves staff and service users learning together, with academic links to help build rigour and evidence. The project has engaged well with feedback and links gained through Q Exchange.

By the time of the event we encourage the project team to think more about…

Developing more detailed plans for how learning will be shared through this programme as this is clearly an idea with broad potential. 


  1. Hi Really excited to see this project getting to the short list - look forward to hearing more about it on the 19th September :)

  2. Hi Sarah and Robin I am so glad that your project got shortlisted, I am also pleased that we have been shortlisted with a similar project. Our idea and planning has now come a long way and we are scheduling our training in the SW area supported by the SWAHSN. As part of the feedback we were given for Q Exchange we have been asked to ensure we work toward both spread and adoption and work together with similar projects. I would therefore like to offer you 3 places on our training programme for both of you and a patient reprentative to see exactly what we are delivering. If you'd like to take us up on this please email me via and I'll send you all of the paperwork and dates, Our training package is being delivered one day a month starting in November for 4 months. Many thanks, Jono Broad

  3. Guest

    Congrats on getting through to the next stage.  I will be at the National event to support the project further.

    As the project develops I would be really interested in making Salisbury hospital a fast follower of the idea and working with you to see how the idea could be spread.  If there is anything that I can do to support at this stage please let me know.




  4. Hi, You may be interested in my B2B idea. It will be looking at how OI should be implemented. If so please let me know and I will keep you posted. Regards Tom

    1. Hi


      We met at the Wessex event... always happy to hear other ideas and learn from work elsewhere. That's the great thing about Q!




  5. Thanks for the update. Great to see this developing. Its such an exciting opportunity.

  6. Hi Sarah and Carl

    It was great to talk with you at the q event to find out more about the idea.  I would be keen to work with you and develop another site at Salisbury where we could test the model.  Sarah MedX is a movement/conference in the states which has the same principles as your idea.  Patients, Clinicians, designers, etc are all treated equally and participate in sharing ideas and improvement projects.

  7. Hi Sarah and Robin

    It was wonderful to talk with you both the other day dispite the technical issues, thank you for your support and thoughts on our project and again I'd like to offer any support I can to you and your work. If we are successful it would be wonderful for you to come and see our project and I would glady help to support you in development of your project. I look forward to catching up at the national event and good luck.

    Jono Broad

    1. Great to talk to you too  - and thanks for the support. Sure we can share ideas and learning as we go forward. And will be in touch about catching up/ visits. ATB, Sarah

  8. Guest

    Great idea  Sarah I support this  idea and would also hope you might consider  linking to third sector organisations who often have patient leaders and those interested in QI to improve services.As you can see there are some similar bids I can see that Jonathen has been in touch so there might be some joint working.

  9. We have a very similar project to this on the Q Exchange

    In the spirit of sharing please have a look, comment and give us the thumbs up of support - perhaps we can share learning as we develop these projects together.

    Your project sounds excellent and I fully support it. We have worked hard with recruitment to our Yorkshire Ambulance Service Critical Friends Network and we now intend to work with these patients and service users to co-develop a network that works for them and to  co-produce some QI training for them. We would be more than willing to share our journey so far, so in the spirit of the Q Community, let's keep in touch.

    1. Clare

      Thanks for commenting and having looked at your project yeas there are lots of areas we could work together.  Plymouth have also put in a similar bid an potential for collaboration across all 3 areas to work out how we can share lessons whilst ensuring relevant for the specific patient populations we want to work with.

      Do get in touch (in case you have lost my email is

  10. I am staff but I've been an nhs user a parent to a sick child and daughter to sick parents. I would feel valued to share stories as I'm sure many patients would. To learn from what goes well not just what goes wrong. This builds brilliantly on the great things would have been doing at Solent and so excited to hear how you are including Junior doctors during their time in Solent


    1. Thanks Susan - Yes, we have programmes for QI for junior doctors and our nursing/ AHP preceptors, supporting with training and also their improvement projects. Part of this is helping them to involve their patients and others impacted by change .. if you'd like to be more involved with us, you would be very welcome.


  11. Hi,

    We have some experience around patient leadership and some evaluation done by University of West of England on the approach we took / are taking. Would be happy to share this learning with you?

    Matthew Areskog ( twitter @Matthew_A83 )

    1. Hi Carl,

      I've passed on your details to Matthew Areskog in my team to get in touch with you.

      Thanks, Claire

    2. Guest

      Thank you for commenting Clare. We would be really interested to learn more from the apporach you took and your experiences. Could you email me to arrange to discuss further?

  12. Sarah

    I have sent you a DM on twitter but in the mean time please email me and we can sort out a time to chat over the phone or by skype.


  13. Guest

    Aimee 4 years ago

    Hi Robin, I can definitely see an opportunity for us to collaborate between our bids (irrespective of the result of this process) and I'm sure we have quite a bit of learning that we can share with you - both what worked and what didn't - with regard to using a buddy system and around recruitment. Our learning around recruitment was primarily at the national level but we can put you in touch with the teams we worked with at the local level to do this as well. Good luck!

    1. Hi Aimee

      That sounds fantastic - one of the great things about this community is that other people know so much more and are willing to share some top tips. Is there a way to get in touch? My email address is, and as you say, regardless of how this pans out, would love to progress this and benefit from your experience.

      Many thanks


  14. Hi

    It is great to see a similar idea coming from another area, I am happy to support this as it is clearly a needed approach to QI and Patient Safety, I hope you will do well and I look forward to seeing you at the Q national event if you get through. If you have a chance to look at our submission I am sure we can work together if this is something you would like to do. Cheers, Jono

    1. Hi Jono

      How have we not connected before??!! My bad I'm sure. I've just spent a good hour looking at your work, your website, presentations and so on and am bowled over by its brilliance. You epitomise what we are trying to grow - what we are trying to enable our own patients, service users, families etc to do.

      We would LOVE to collaborate and draw on your extensive knowledge. There is some overlap - for instance in regards to training and the peer support. You have some ideas we hadn't considered such as a panel... I've made it my life mission to de-beaurocratise (don't think that's actually a word)  the NHS, so not sure about a central approval process but do love the idea of patients commenting on projects.

      I will comment on your submission too, but in the meantime, I think we can work together with our ideas.. what is the best way to chat/ connect?

      I am also going to DM you on twitter about an event we are holding.. :-)

      Thanks so much for commenting and connecting us




    2. Hi Jono

      Thanks for the comments and support,  Absolutely be great to work together on this area.


  15. Guest

    Jane Cadman 4 years ago

    I think that this is a very powerful opportunity to change culture from “what can you do for me”, to “what can we do for ourselves” in supporting change in our services by those that use them. This is patient centric through providing a voice, but more significantly action in changing services. Often complaints are driven by a pursuit to derive insight for initiating change - this is a great vehicle for facilitating this without the distress that a complaint process can incur for all. QI is everyones’ business so get one and all involved, which to me is the essence of this project - all the very best.

    Jane Cadman

    1. Dear Jane

      Thanks for your comment - I couldn't agree more. We default to complaints when really most people want the change to make suggestions and have a conversation about the whole experience of receiving care (not just the treatment). At least that has been my personal experience when the family member rather than the professional. It's that personal experience that has really ignited a determination to ensure that those using services not only feel comfortable making suggestions, but the mechanisms to do this are there. If you have any ideas about how we can do this better, would be very grateful for them :)

      All the best


  16. Sarah Carl and Robin i suport this idea and would be keen to develop a medx style approach where #everyoneincluded.

    1. Hi Carol - sounds good. At the risk of sounding like a moron what do you mean by medx? I know we've talked collaboration within Wessex Q so would be keen to explore further?



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